The Pope called on Putin to stop the “spiral of violence” in Ukraine

By FRANCES D’EMILIO – Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to “stop this spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine and condemned the “absurd” risk of catastrophic nuclear war for humanity as tensions escalate.

Addressing the public on the square of St. It was the first time he publicly mentioned Putin’s leadership.

The pontiff also called on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to “be open” to serious peace proposals. He called on the international community to “use all diplomatic tools” to end this “enormous tragedy” and “horror” of war.

“This terrible, unimaginable wound of humanity, instead of shrinking, continues to bleed even more, threatening to spread,” Francis said.

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“The fact that humanity is once again facing the threat of nuclear war is absurd,” the Pontiff said. “What more must happen, how much more blood must be shed,” before the war ends? Francis asked.

The Pope called on “the president of the Russian Federation, also out of love for his people, to stop this spiral of violence and death.”

He then called on Zelenskiy to “be open to serious peace proposals” and urged “all international actors and political leaders to do everything possible to end the war with persistence” while avoiding “dangerous escalation”. »

Francis called for “all diplomatic tools to be used to put an end to this enormous tragedy.” In his address, he called the war “horror” and “madness.”

He expressed concern that “the world learns about the geography of Ukraine” through the names of its cities and towns, which are now associated with the deaths of civilians, including Bucha and Mariupol.

Throughout the war, Francis condemned the resort to arms and called for dialogue. But recently he emphasized Ukraine’s right to defend itself against aggression.

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